Avatar universal

My partner and his 9 yo daughter. Am I an over-thinker?

Hello, I don't know where else to turn so here goes. I've been going out with my boyfriend for over a year. It's not your basic everyday relationship. We moved abroad for 6 months, he began getting violent so I moved home. We have worked through our issues and are going strong again. He has a 9 year old daughter from a previous relationship. It is only in the last 5 or 6 months I have been spending time with her. There are days or weekends I am at his house (His parents house) and his daughter is staying over at the same time. I have noticed behaviour, actions, speech etc. that makes me uncomfortable, sick to my stomach and completely confused! I grew up in a secure house with loving parents and siblings. My dad and I still have a good relationship. But my father and I never behaved like my partner does to his daughter! I don't know is it overcompensation for my partner not being with his child's mother?
Anyway I will briefly outline the situations I've encountered.
1-My partner (30yo) lies on the couch, on his back. His daughter lies beside him but has her legs between his legs over his genitals.
2-My partner lies on the couch, on his side. His daughter snuggles into him while sitting upright. So her back is touching his stomach area. (She saw me sit like this one particular evening, I was rubbing my hands through his hair and he had his hand around my waist. She saw this position and copied it exactly later that day. Even down to the point of scratching his hair!)
Both these above positions are intimate to our relationship in my eyes. My boyfriend and I often spoon/sit like this and he gets aroused very easily.
3-One particular day his daughter was in her pajamas until noon. Her uncle and child (My partner's brother and nephew) came to visit. She said 'Daddy help me get dressed'. I did not hear this, if I did I would have intervened! About 10 or 15 minutes passed I realised hmm where in the house are they? I went to my partner's bedroom the door was shut! He never shuts the door, even when he is changing. Anyway he came out of the room a few minutes later. I confronted him and said something like 'Where were you I thought you'd gone out for a walk without me?' He replied saying he was helping his child get dressed! I said bluntly what is wrong with her that she can't dress herself? (She is tall and intelligent. She is well able to dress herself all the other days of the week when she is back at her own home with her mother. When I was that age and younger, from 5 onwards I was dressing myself if I was in difficulty my mother, sister or grandmother would help. NEVER my dad or any other male.)
His response was that he was folding her dirty pajamas she took off, and they had shut the door to stop anyone running in. My point was couldn't he have stood outside the door keeping guard and fold/tidy clothes after she was dressed and left the room?
4-My partner mentioned his ex (daughter's mother) told the daughter she is too big now to be sleeping with dad! He didn't listen and as far as I know she sometimes sleeps with him. I said to him I'm glad she told you she's too big to sleep with you, because she is growing into a young woman and could have her period in a year or so. He snapped and said don't you ever question my parenting!
5-If she is staying over he runs the bath for the daughter. As far as I know she strips down in front of him, he goes in later to rinse her hair. What I can't understand is why she can't rinse her own hair.
I've hit an emotional brick wall. I have tried to approach these issues with my partner but he gets so defensive and says I'm calling him a perv which I am not. I am worried for the daughter, she is the one who doesn't know and should be setting mental boundaries to older males and she should be becoming more aware of her own body privacy.
Any advice or ideas on how to deal with it would be so helpful. I have talked to a doctor about it and she advised a social worker can get involved if there is abuse, there is NO abuse. It is just the attitudes surrounding the situations.
7 Responses
Avatar universal

You say there is no abuse SO let's put that aside,

To address Your question:

You don't 'deal with it", rather You accept it for what it is - or You leave.

You only have one year invested here - They have NINE years - PLUS They are Father and Daughter - that has priority over GirlFriend

it would be wrong of You to stay AND try to change the dynamic of Their Relationship
it would be wrong to stay if You object to the dynamic of Their Relationship

It's okay for You not to like it, it's NOT okay for You to think You should change it.   If You cannot accept this, You should exit YourSelf from it.


6709254 tn?1389303349
Idk....this is weird  not saying something  is going on cause I wouldn't know o wasn't raised around my dad or any males other than my brothers and cousins. But the girls were always with the girls you know. My dad molested me a couple months after I found out he was my dad. So there was never a father daughter bond.
It could be nothing.
it could just be that's how they are together. Don't try to change it. Maybe once you and the daughter react and have more time together you will be able to understand their relationship.
3060903 tn?1398565123
It's these types of things that we get to help us make the choice as to whether this is going to be a lifetime relationship or not. This sounds like it really bugs you. Say it's not inappropriate, or none of anyone's business to comment, are you willing to accept this relationship he has with his daughter ~ Knowing that  she's 9, living with another patent, and will be on her own in 9 years or so?

The thing is, this is their relationship, and your boyfriend's type of parenting. I wouldn't feel comfortable with my husband bathing his 9 or 10 year old daughter. It might even be odd enough, or cross a personal boundary with me, so much so that I might end the relationship and find someone who was nearer to my comfort zone.

I sure wish you the best, and hope that you figure out what's best for you right now. God Bless.
Avatar universal
Thanks everyone for your advice! I am not trying to come between him and his daughter at all, I know how important having a dad figure around when you're growing up is. I'm just concerned about the actions. If we had children in a few years I wouldn't want the same behavior like him lying on the couch with her and bathing her. Thanks!
Avatar universal
If it bothers you so much then you need to accept the fact that this relationship is not the right fit for you. Don't stay in this situation if it bugs you this much. It's not like he's the only guy out there. There are plenty of other guys out there who don't have kids that you can date and you won't have this problem. Find one of them and your problem is solved.
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi there. First, I would not 'work through' violence with a boyfriend.  We date to make a choice if someone is a good partner or not and should be very critical during that process so we can in the end, have a good, healthy long term relationship.  It is VERY doubtful that he is all of a sudden 'cured' of his violence and ability to get angry enough to get physical with a woman.  That takes some pretty significant therapy most of the time and I will almost guarantee to you that the violence will reappear.  I really believe you shouldn't have gone back when he was violent toward you and this alone will haunt you and you'll be back in that position again before you know it.  That is a pattern--  the abuse pattern..  You are making the mistake many battered women make.

Second, what you describe with a nine year old daughter isn't unusual.  I cuddle with my kiddos all the time, I run their shower, I will even occasionally rinse their hair when in the shower if they are having trouble getting the conditioner out.  I have two boys.  They are not sexual to me--- AT ALL.  (obviously, gross!).  They are my babies that I love dearly and I care for.  Families are all different and what you experienced sound like a nice, healthy family life but that doesn't mean that other situations aren't also healthy.

Sleeping together does happen between parents and kids but usually until around this time.  The kids want independence and then go their own space. But let me ask you this . . .  this boyfriend is living at his parents place.  What space does she have to go to?  It sounds like communal living. Does she have her own room or anything?  Or does she get to go sleep on a cot or couch somewhere??  (not very appealing).  And if this is their 'norm'----  does she come over enough (as you say this is recent) that she would be comfortable changing the routine at this point?  

This really seems like a situation that is not great for you.  You question his relationship with is daughter that you say is not abusive but you just don't like it (I'd agree it doesn't sound abusive).  The man has been violent.  It's just not a great situation.  I'd move on and find someone that is a better fit for you and you'll have a better chance to have a long term relationship with.  good luck
Avatar universal
Hi Bella, (also my daughter's name),  I am usually active in another forum, but enjoy reading this one on occasions. I have never commented in this forum until now, because I have something to add. I have a ten year old daughter.  Her and my husband, her father, are very close. We all sat on the couch tonight and watched a movie with our legs draped over my husband lap. My daughter always cuddles with both myself and her father. She also loves to brush his hair and loves trying to make it look like a mohawk..lol he helps her rinse her hair and get dressed if needed. He is her Dad for goish sake!!  I still snuggle with MY dad and I am 46 years old!!  I am not trying to be mean with this question, but are you sure you are not jealous of their relationship?  You stated that you felt those situations were intimate between you and your boyfriend.  Do you not feel that he should not be as close with his daughter as he is with you?  I certainly hope not.

Since you asked, my two cents is that you are way over thinking this...just because you were not brought up the same way does not mean it is odd in any way. I cherish every moment of cuddling time that my husband and I have with our daughter, as I realize she will be away to college before I can bat an eye!
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